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Distant Worlds Legends: New Gameplay and Features Preview Video

By on November 17th, 2011 3:22 am

Matrix Games, Slitherine and Code Force have released an extended gameplay and features preview video for Distant Worlds: Legends. Legends is Distant Worlds’ 2nd expansion (the first was Distant Worlds: Return of the Shakturi, a very successful expansion).

Combine this video with the Space Sector’s DW Legends Preview and you should get a good idea of what to expect from this second expansion. There is not a firm release date yet but the devs state that it will happen this November 2011 still. So, stay tuned! :)

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15 Comments


  1. ZigZag says:

    I’m really curious why you like Distant Stars. We tend to have similar tastes, but I can’t stand the game. I remember reading your review of the original, and thinking that it was largely accurate (even if you did pull your punches in places). I thought that your positive review of the expansion was to appease critics of your negative review of the original, but your recent praise for this game seems to be genuine. So, what’s up? And how can I like this game too? :)

    • Adam Solo says:

      Have you played Distant World’s expansion Return of the Shakturi? For me it’s like 2 different games. DW vanilla for me was like an open-beta (a term so popular now in on-line games and sadly also recently true in stand-alone games). So many problems, but the potential was there no doubt. Unfortunately gamers can’t play potential yet, maybe one day they might.

      I get the impression that you also read my RotS Review. Well, I did my best to explain there why I think RotS is one of the best 4X Grand Strategy Space games of all time (since my previous review was very negative). I see it was not enough to convince everybody (or at least all 4X space fans, that I presume you are) that RotS is indeed very good. Complex yes, with low-performance in huge late games yes, slow at times, refueling issues, AI is not perfect, problems with fonts and graphics models rendering overall. Yes, all that, but still great and deserving of an 8.7 in my opinion.

      So, if you haven’t played RotS yet I suggest you try and then let me know what you think.

      I think Legends will be even better, I have extremely high expectations for this one. Let’s wait and see.

      Edit\ Haa and try everything in manual. Who can trust an AI ;)

      PS: Wait a minute. Are you the same zigzag that said … if you remember I mean :)
      “I will never forget a sentence said by a 4x sci-fi strategy gamer one day (in the Galactic Civilizations forums, zigzag was his name) that described what he wanted to see next (and play next) in terms of 4x sci-fi gaming. He said something like this “Really, I just want Master of Orion 2 with better AI, graphics and LAN support“.”
      From here: http://www.spacesector.com/blog/2011/04/starbase-orion-master-of-orion-2-with-better-multiplayer-for-ios/

      If so, glad to meet you in Space Sector finally. You’re most welcome! ;)

  2. ZigZag says:

    I played the expansion after reading your review, and was underwhelmed. I disliked the original, not only because of the issues you mentioned, but also because of its core design. The expansion improved the execution of that design, but didn’t change the design itself.

    My essential gripe is that the designers combined the strategic and tactical components of the game, and that both suffered as a result. One the one hand, the constraints imposed by real-time gameplay require that many strategic tasks be automated, producing for me the feeling that the game plays itself. On the other, the tactical game, i.e. combat, is incredibly weak for a real-time strategy game because of the scope of the strategic game.

    (Because of this, I’m skeptical about the upcoming expansion, which seems to just pile more strategic mechanics on top of a game that is already too expansive for its real-time model.)

    P.S. Yes, that’s me. And unfortunately Distant Worlds isn’t that game, just another pretender that’s been blinded by the perceived need to innovate. :(

    • Adam Solo says:

      I know exactly what you mean, believe me I do. I also pointed out the tactical and strategic merge as a problem in the first review. RTS was also a problem. The need to have automation was also a show-stopper for me. The tactical aspect is not gorgeous as Sin’s but beats Armada 2526’s any day. And well, it does not need to be good to beat the non-existing GalCiv2’s tactical combat either. Etc, etc.

      Being RTS doesn’t bug me anymore. Most of my gameplay time I’m paused or running in 0.25x or 0.5x time span and it works for me. It’s like playing TBS. I’m at peace with that.

      The tactical/strategic merge is ok now that the UI is revamped. In RotS, you can handle (almost) everything now (in DW vanilla it was the horror – no control whatsoever).

      With the improved UI you don’t need the AI anymore. I run my games fully manual with some “suggestion” left on. You can make it. In DW vanilla just forget about it, now it’s more than possible believe me.

      The tactical combat is a bit ugly (Legends will improve the ship models however). There are plenty of weapons (more to come in Legends also). It’s ok. It’s not flashy like Sins but I don’t need that also.

      It’s great to be talking to you. I find your statement on MoO2 to be strikingly accurate and what everybody wants/needs. Atari must do something with the franchise or sell it to whom can do history with it.

      I can’t make you like RotS but I know exactly how you felt about DW vanilla because I also felt the same. I come from TBS (MoO2, BOTF, Space Empires, GalCiv2, SMAC) but believe me, DW RotS RTS is not a problem after you start using the pause button, and now that the UI is revamped you can actually control your empire.

      So, my suggestions are:
      – Play your games without automation; go fully manual or leave some suggestions on.
      – Do the tutorials, both.
      – Pause your games often, take your time.
      – Get a feel of diplomacy (it’s really good).
      – Give it a shot.

      I’m convinced you will like it in the end.

      • Josh B says:

        I love paying DW with *some* automation on. I deploy fleets into combat and choose worlds to colonize, and authorize build orders when suggested… but I don’t want to position every gas mine or manually explore every star. I like designing my own ships, but I’m glad I don’t need to manually refuel them.

        This is part of what seems so impressive about the game — you are free to play how you wish, and leave the rest up to the AI — which is rather good with the small things, and tolerates your intervention when you choose.

        Ultimately I enjoy DW because it makes me *feel* like I’m in control of a powerful, living space empire.

        • Adam Solo says:

          “Ultimately I enjoy DW because it makes me *feel* like I’m in control of a powerful, living space empire”
          Exactly what I feel also. I think I also mentioned that precise point in my RotS review.

  3. Ermdog says:

    Yeah I was overwhelmed with DW/Rots at first as well. I had to leave everything on automated and learn what the AI does and go off that. I pretty much have everything manual now, except my taxes and ship designs (still learning what certain parts do and how the AI designs ships).

    You can make it feel like a TBS if you want to, like Adam said, you just put it on pause and figure out what you wanna do next. I’m only about 2 weeks into the game, but I’ve gotten to the point where i can micromanage my empire pretty well and still keep the game running. I do pause a lot still when planning out what planets to take/build on, or pretty much anything in my empire I’m trying to overview.

    I am glad the graphics will be upgraded, because they sure need it. Graphics aren’t everything, but they sure help.

    I still find myself wishing they had more interface options to make things even more easier, because there are still some things that can be better. Some of those look like they will be addressed in the new expansion, like it will physically show you all colonizable planets on the map, or planets with research bonuses.

    I still have some grips about this game that I wish they would address in the new expansion. I for one like to patrol planets with mining stations on them. My mining stations get attacked a lot and I want to be ready for when it happens. First off, I wish they had a visual marker to show what planets are being patrolled so I know where to send my ships next. Second, when I put them on patrol, I find myself having to put them on patrol again down the road. For whatever reason they stop patrolling that planet and I have to reassign someone to it. I’m not sure if it’s when they go to refit the ship, or refuel, or what, but eventually those ships will stop patrolling those planets and then my mining stations get shot up. The same goes for Escort ships, whether escorting a ship or patrolling, I’m always having to re-assign missions to them. It annoys me a lot because it will fill up my ‘Next Idle ship’ button, and I have to cycle though all of them to re-assign missions. I wish it was if you assign a mission once, they will keep doing it until they get killed.

    One other thing that I think they could better, is how to better see and locate your ships. Some kind of visual where it shows you what ships are at that Solar System. Something like Sins did, where it showed you all the ships and buildings that were on that planet. I find myself scrolling through individual ships to find out where they are, or trying to find out how many ships I have in this system.

    I think an even better interface is the key to making this game an even greater game

    • Adam Solo says:

      Regarding escorts losing their missions perhaps it would be a good idea for you to present that problem (in principle it is a problem) in the Distant Worlds Forum: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=782 The guys hanging there are amazing.

      A guy also complained there that he needs to go cycling his idle ships over and over again: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2954262 and requests a pop-up list (for some reason I don’t use that list much, guess it has to do with play style.

      Regarding seeing even better where are all your ships are I think they’re going to do something about this in Legends. There’s an overlay that supposedly shows better were fleets are. As for individual ships I agree, if they went with the Sins UI model it would be cool but for the mean time the empire management tool (quick links on the left) and the “bases and ships” will have to do.

      I completely agree with you on the UI. It’s way better than DW vanilla but can still be much better. I’m having high hopes that Legends will bring a ton of more goodies so that we can track even better our empires.

      And don’t forget the new overlays (where ships are heading, borders, etc) that will add another good level of control.

    • Josh B says:

      My strategy for defending my territory from minor threats (pirates, raids, monsters):
      1. Keep station designs updated with some defenses/durability
      2. Deploy builders to upgrade stations in vulnerable areas
      3. Keep small, manually-controlled, fast fleets evenly distributed in your territory (just a couple ships is often enough) as stand-by, quick-response for minor threats
      4. Deploy stations with large sensor ranges to get good sensor coverage of your territory, so you can see incoming enemies early enough to intercept them with sufficient force.

      In the event a station comes under attack, I can often simply select the nearest military ship (often escorting a transport or patrolling nearby) and dispatch it to deal with the threat. With this approach, I do not often lose stations.

      If your economy can weather it, increase your build levels so you have more ships on hand that will be assigned to escort/patrol duties by AI. Plan to deploy a small force to protect remote holdings.

      • Adam Solo says:

        I also do 3. and 4. in my games.

        By reading your comment now I realize, why haven’t I tried to design more powerful mining bases?! Wait, I did design custom bases with tougher shields once but I did not included more weapons! (Doh) That way I could loose my surveillance fleets in remote sectors. Part of DW’s RotS beauty is that while you can’t control all of your empire (since half of it is runned by the private sector) you’re still in charge of designing all the ships & bases models (if you want). So, you can design mining stations and freighters the way you think suits you best (faster, tougher, far reaching, with weapons, etc). Even if you can’t control private sector ships you can still have a strong influence over them, which I find to be fantastic.

        I don’t quite understand why people don’t like to go manual on ship design (I know by fact that several people that don’t go manual). There’s clearly some lacking info and the process can be a bit time consuming, but I find it fun and a decisive factor for failure or success on the long run. And the devs even have think ahead and offer the possibility to save designs so that you don’t have to re-design everything from scratch in following games. I have a ball thinking on which would be the best strategy to monitor and control my empire at the distance of a click (I’m a bit turtle yes). So, I like to design huge monitoring starbases that provide both powerful surveillance and great firepower. I like to build these babies in frontier worlds or outer rim planets to avoid nasty surprises.

  4. Jani Sillanpää says:

    Release tomorrow? I fear this might break relationship with my current gf.

    “So far, it still looks good for Wednesday. That does not mean it is guaranteed, but it means it is probable. The final store QA is happening tomorrow.”

    • Josh B says:

      I know Matrix has been advertising Legends… but the CodeForce page hasn’t been updated since the RoTS release. These guys should get Adam to help them update their site. :)

      • Adam Solo says:

        Yea, the devs do very little publicity work. I guess they don’t need to (and have much more to do). They rely all on Matrix for that, which does a very good job btw, and that’s part of what they are for anyway. The DW forums are very active and the PR people are always busy. The devs reply often in the forums.

  5. Josh B says:

    Modding support is supposedly improved in Legends, but primarily related to the new features. It seems mods still cannot modify technologies, components, etc. A real shame.

  6. Josh B says:

    Legends is out! And Matrix games has Spacesector’s preview linked in several locations on their site. Woot!


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